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View Poll Results: Your choice?
Beijing 2 3.77%
Los Angeles 24 45.28%
Osaka 12 22.64%
Rhine-Ruhr 10 18.87%
Combined option for "none", "confused at the moment", "I don't really know where to begin", "huh" 5 9.43%
Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 01-11-2013, 10:34 PM
 
Location: London, United Kingdom
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These are all secondary cities in their country's respectively, all of them fall under the "17-20 million people" megacity range (well besides Rhine-Ruhr which is like 12-13 million range). I would describe all four as prominent cities of the world (Rhine-Ruhr conurbation to a lesser extent clearly), as well as some of the largest. It's evident they play second wheel to the likes of Shanghai, New York, Tokyo, Berlin in their country.

So let's begin this discussion. Which one of these cities would you consider visiting, are more intrigued with, would live in, and view most favorably.

Also further detached from the questions above, I'd like to ask what are some special things about each of them?
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:23 PM
 
Location: In the heights
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Originally Posted by valentro View Post
These are all secondary cities in their country's respectively, all of them fall under the "17-20 million people" megacity range (well besides Rhine-Ruhr which is like 12-13 million range). I would describe all four as prominent cities of the world (Rhine-Ruhr conurbation to a lesser extent clearly), as well as some of the largest. It's evident they play second wheel to the likes of Shanghai, New York, Tokyo, Berlin in their country.

So let's begin this discussion. Which one of these cities would you consider visiting, are more intrigued with, would live in, and view most favorably.

Also further detached from the questions above, I'd like to ask what are some special things about each of them?
I think there are a lot of people who would disagree that there's a well established second city aspect between Beijing and Shanghai. Beijing is the corporate, political, media and cultural capital for the most part while Shanghai is the financial capital. They are not that far off in terms of population and residents of both seem to have a general disdain for the other.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:27 PM
 
Location: London, United Kingdom
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Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
I think there are a lot of people who would disagree that there's a well established second city aspect between Beijing and Shanghai. Beijing is the corporate, political, media and cultural capital for the most part while Shanghai is the financial capital. They are not that far off in terms of population and residents of both seem to have a general disdain for the other.
I agree but if I had to give one the pass, it would be Shanghai on the prominence radar.

I know, some of these cities are actually quite close to matching their country's largest hub. Beijing is like Washington, except on steroids (FAR larger) which helps compensate for any lag in financial and business activity in relation to Shanghai.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:31 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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I've been to Beijing and Los Angeles. Despite appearances the two cities share a lot in common: both are very sprawling, have a lot of traffic jams, and are dry and smoggy. Two different to compare, both interesting in their own way.

Osaka seems interested, will visit when I go to Japan.
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:52 AM
 
Location: London, U.K.
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I'm part German but the Rhine Ruhr area doesn't interest me. I like Hamburg better, it's much more interesting.

I also don't have any particular interest in Beijing, a lot of what others have told me have been mixed reviews. Osaka seems interesting to me but all things considered I choose LA. I lived in the LA area the first 18 years of my life, was born and raised in that area and it's a far cry from my preferred destinations it's the easiest one for me to adjust to and the city is interesting in its own way IMO.
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:29 AM
 
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Osaka since its in Japan.
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:30 AM
 
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To visit, I would rank them: Beijing, Osaka, Los Angeles, Rhine-Ruhr
To live in, I would rank them: Los Angeles, Osaka, Rhine-Ruhr, Beijing
Overall, I will just vote Osaka.

Beijing: lots of historical places worth seeing. However, bad weather, bad traffic, very polluted. Cold in winter, hot in summer, and sandstorms in spring. Air quality is very bad.

Osaka: very nice places to visit. Nearby Kyoto and Nara are also interesting destinations. Better weather than the others except L.A. The negatives are its high cost of living (most expensive among the 4) and it can be difficult to live in if one doesn't speak Japanese (which can be true for Beijing as well if one doesn't speak Chinese)

Los Angeles: nice place to visit for teens and children, but not so good if one prefers history or nature rather than Hollywood and theme parks. Traffic and pollution are very bad, but it has very nice weather. There are pockets that are really unsafe and overall crime rate is the worst among the 4. There are places like Pasadena and Irvine that I love and would live in these places if there's a job or something that allows for the move.

Rhine-Ruhr: large place but for visiting, there are other more interesting places. The Cologne Cathedral is nice, but there are other churches in Europe that are even more spectacular. There are many castles along the Rhine, but there are more interesting castles in Bavaria and elsewhere in Germany. Actually, it is first in population among metropolitan areas in Germany, but it is not second in other aspects compared to other German cities. I mean, Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich can all rank higher than Rhine-Ruhr in various rankings. I think it's not a bad place to live though.
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:31 AM
 
Location: In the heights
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Originally Posted by valentro View Post
I agree but if I had to give one the pass, it would be Shanghai on the prominence radar.

I know, some of these cities are actually quite close to matching their country's largest hub. Beijing is like Washington, except on steroids (FAR larger) which helps compensate for any lag in financial and business activity in relation to Shanghai.
I would probably give it to Beijing due to how pretty much all the large banks and Global 500 companies of China are in Beijing and very few of them are in Shanghai. Shanghai is a lot of foreign direct investment which certainly matters a lot, but given how China's domestic markets have grown in the previous decade, I think Beijing should get the nod. I also don't think it's much like Washington on steroids--Washington is basically the seat of political power and just that. While Beijing is also the seat of political power, the city is also considered the academic (like Boston), media (like LA and NYC), tech (like the Bay Area) and corporate (like NYC) capital for China.

I'm not a Beijing cheerleader though. I vastly prefer Shanghai and especially Suzhou and Hangzhou near Shanghai to anything in Beijing and its environs. However, it's definitely not really settled that Shanghai is alpha city to Beijing (except for those in Shanghai and its environs).
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:36 PM
 
Location: London, United Kingdom
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Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
I would probably give it to Beijing due to how pretty much all the large banks and Global 500 companies of China are in Beijing and very few of them are in Shanghai. Shanghai is a lot of foreign direct investment which certainly matters a lot, but given how China's domestic markets have grown in the previous decade, I think Beijing should get the nod. I also don't think it's much like Washington on steroids--Washington is basically the seat of political power and just that. While Beijing is also the seat of political power, the city is also considered the academic (like Boston), media (like LA and NYC), tech (like the Bay Area) and corporate (like NYC) capital for China.

I'm not a Beijing cheerleader though. I vastly prefer Shanghai and especially Suzhou and Hangzhou near Shanghai to anything in Beijing and its environs. However, it's definitely not really settled that Shanghai is alpha city to Beijing (except for those in Shanghai and its environs).
Once again I agree with most of what you're saying but I have a few things I want to add in.

You mentioned Los Angeles along with New York as a media center, for entertainment for sure (film, television shows, and the like) but for media itself I think New York is more so in a different ball league than Los Angeles.

Media to me, since it's my field of experience and what I specialized in college as well as what I plan on pursuing a career in is journalism, news broadcasting, news papers, current events, among others. I wont deny that Los Angeles has a huge film & television presence or even that it has some media presence but it's not particularly strong.

I think of Atlanta-New York-Washington as the media hubs of the United States. Media, broadcasting, current events, news, publishing, news magazines all seem to be havily concentrated and monopolized by the cities in the United States' eastern seaboard (Atlanta, New York, & Washington) where major news networks are based and operated. New York Times, Bloomberg Media, Huffington Post, TIME Magazine, CNN, Washington Post, CNBC, Atlantic Media Company, Interface Media Group, Red Zebra Broadcasting, Regnery Publishing, Witeck Communications, Gallup, and so on are much larger networks and media centers than Los Angeles Times for example.

Also with Washington, again I wont deny that Washington's niche (the government) has a hand in other industries here but Washington in relation to the United States is a very strong contender in media, technology, engineering, Life Sciences, defense, and even it's corporate power is modest to strong. I'm not saying it's a Beijing, which is vastly larger and FAR more on the international stage than Washington on most of those things (although politics & media, definitely they can see eye to eye in my opinion) but I also don't think Washington gets the credit it deserves for what it excels at. Washington also has a sizable tourism industry, airport system, research & development sector, growing financial market, strong education sector as well. While I'm not going to say these are in anyway large compared to the government itself in Washington, in which case an argument can be made these industries in Washington are all in one way or another infused with the federal government but it does make a significant leap up there. For example on technology, Washington's concentration is only behind Bay Area, New York, Boston, & Seattle and ahead of power hitters like Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, the Research Triangle, Austin. It has a good hand in aeronautics as well, more as a design center than a manufacturing center to be honest. Washington's media is incredibly strong, perhaps I'm biased because I watch CNN for 6 or so hours each day and read a lot of current events but it's hard to see anywhere besides New York put up a show like that on current events in which case it really speaks to how strong New York is.

I agree I also vastly prefer Shanghai to Beijing and I knew Beijing was a strong media network as well as a strong financial market but I didn't know it was the film & television hub of China. I've always figured that would go to Shanghai personally but I don't know for sure.

I don't know how accurate these are but I've always viewed Shanghai as the cultural center of China (albeit I'm aware of the rivalry between Shanghai & Beijing and their history), the historical one between the two, the more diverse one between the two, as well as the more innovative and creative class one between the two. The logistics center of China as well (well between these two cities at least) and the stock exchange there is one of the largest in the world, it's been giving Hong Kong some stiff competition as of late on that till it finally slowed down sometime in 2011. While I'm not one to glamorize GDP as much as others, Shanghai also has (albeit very narrow) lead over Beijing by $50 Billion USD. The port of Shanghai is significant and in popular culture- as an American that's never been to either of these cities, I have to say from my experience I've heard of Shanghai mentioned quite a lot as a cultural getaway while what I hear about Beijing is related to government, it's media, and it's financial & business activity.

I think overall we see eye to eye, I can understand exactly how you think Beijing is the more important of the two but I honestly think any major differences between them is mostly splitting hairs. They seem to specialize in different things, which makes it hard to compare them.

Last edited by Facts Kill Rhetoric; 01-12-2013 at 02:11 PM..
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
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I live in LA so obviously, to some degree or another, I have an affinity and/or preference for it. LA is an extremely dynamic, ever-changing, profusely-international city with a dizzying number of faces. If it exists anywhere in the world, you'll find it here to some extent or another, for better or worse. Phenomenal culinary and dining scene, which is a big one for me. Wonderful weather, which is also a huge deal to me - I'm heading off to Seattle in a few hours and ugh... the cold And the rain What was I thinking when I booked this trip?? Oh... well... you should see her chest

If my plans for vacation hold through, I'll be visiting Osaka around May or so, along with Tokyo, Kyoto, and a few days exlploring Mt. Koya and its surroundings. One of my friends lives in Osaka and loves it; she prefers it to Tokyo... I'm not sure which I would prefer. However, between all the things I've heard of it, my affinity for Japnese culture, some ability to speak/read/write Japanese (taking classes again to brush up right now!), etc etc etc, I feel confident in putting Osaka in a #2 position behind LA, as of right now in my life.

I'd really like to visit Beijing; I have an affinity for Chinese culture as well, prefer Chinese cuisine to Japanese cuisine, and it's definitely near the top of my list of places to visit... however, I've heard few good things about Beijing from my friends and aquaintances who have traveled there, or are even from there. The pre-eminent complaint I hear is that it's extremely "dirty," polluted, and crowded on a level that is incomprehensible in the West... which actually doesn't really repel me; it's not Mumbai or anything.

I think of the Ruhr-Rhine region as being idyllic, and imagine the people there based on the huge number of Germans I've met and known, the vast, vast bulk of whom were friendly, agreeable, and interesting people.
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